September 13th, 2011
03:03 PM ET

N.C. senate approves putting same-sex marriage amendment on 2012 ballot

North Carolina will put an amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot in May after the state's House and Senate passed the measure.

The measure cleared the Senate by a vote of 30-16, according to Mark Johnson, spokesperson for governor's office. On Monday the House also passed the measure by a vote of 76-41.

Read the bill (PDF)

If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters during the primary in May, North Carolina would become the final state in the Southeast to add a constitutional amendment regarding same-sex marriage.

Proponents of the measure said they felt it was important that the amendment be added so that it would protect the state's policy on gay marriage. North Carolina currently has a ban on same-sex marriage, but legislators are seeking to protect that ban by chiseling it into their constitution.

“We think the people of this state – not judges, bureaucrats, or politicians – should define marriage, which I personally believe should be between one man and one woman," Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement after the measure passed. "We look forward to eight months of healthy debate before voters decide this issue at the polls.”

The proposed constitutional amendment sparked anger from many Democrats in the legislature, who argued the Republicans were trying to push through the measure since they have control for the first time in 140 years.

Others argued the legislature should be focused on more pressing issues such as the economy or jobs.

That concern also came from North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

“I’m focused on solving problems and creating jobs.  This partisan exercise does neither: Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, and this constitutional amendment would not create a single job. In fact, it could hurt existing North Carolina businesses - as Speaker Tillis himself acknowledged - and harm our ability to attract new businesses to invest and grow jobs here. “

Sen. Josh Stein, a Democrat, echoed similar thoughts in his comments.

He referred to the cost of having to go through a session and taking up this issue while there are still some people in the state dealing with damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

"What are we doing here?" he asked.

He also echoed some of the comments that Democratic colleagues in the House argued on Monday, that this move would single out specific people and was a step in the wrong direction.

"Most of us have gay neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members," Stein said. "Know that if you vote for this amendment, you will cause them pain."

During his arguments for why the measure needed to be passed, Berger argued that the issue was of importance to a lot of people in the state. He too, echoed comments from his Republican colleagues, that there was no better way to decide than by letting the people make their voice heard.

"There is one thing that I don't think anyone can disagree with. If we don't go ahead and address this issue now, it will continue to come up," he said. "It is time to let the people of this state decide."

On Monday during a House committee hearing and then during the House vote, Democrats argued strongly against passing the measure because both of its content and the lack of a public discussion.

People on both sides of the aisle said what decision they made would go down in history.

"I remember a recent session where we went to great lengths, and necessary ones I believe, to issue an apology to African-American citizens for injustices," Rep. Susan Fisher, a Democrat, said on the House floor Monday. "What I think is about to happen here is another instance where in the not-too-distant future we will be apologizing again for unfair and harmful discriminatory practices."

Rep. Dale Folwell, a Republican, said the vote is really about allowing the people to have control of their own constitution.

"Today, history is going to talk about the strength, the strength of this chamber, to realize that some decisions are simply bigger than we are and they belong to the people of North Carolina," he said.

soundoff (969 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    My whole point is, if I were to only obay part of the bible and not all, that would be hypocritical.
    You may choose, that's why God gave you freedom of choice, but just know that ther're consiquences to those choices

    September 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Yelka

      The bible is uninteresting to me. It teaches that slavery is okay, blasphemy is punishable by death, women should just shut up, etc. By most people's standards, it is unacceptable unless one takes just a verse here and a verse there. To obey it all, you'd be locked up.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ctlfreak

      Then I assume you only wear non blended clothing materials. You likely beat your wife with a rod as small as you thumb aswell. Do you sell your children into slavery, or perhaps have them stoned by the elders when they argue with you? Your wife must have her own bedroom since during menstruation she is not allowed in the bed. I also assume you own no leather goods or eat any bacon.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ctlfreak

    @Jazzzzzzzz I dont have a bible because I am not delusional and believe in magical sky wizards. But since you want to talk about what god wants how about these.
    Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord. So no vasectomies if you want to stay in the church

    the not so good book also calls for the execution of a child who cusses out his dad or mom (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9) or disobeys he or she (Deuteronomy 20:18-21), guess god is pro choice huh

    Exodus 21:1 “These are the laws you are to set before them 2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. seems your loving god is a fan of slavery.

    Leviticus 1 there are so many here i will just summarize a few.
    Don't mix seeds when sowing a field or wear a garment with mixed fibers. 19:19
    Don't look at any naked menstruating women. 18:19
    Handicapped people must not approach the altar. 21:16-23
    Insects have four legs. 11:21, 23 silly god doesnt even know basic biology.
    Bats are just unclean birds. 11:13,19

    I can go on all day with this but im tired of it. for more information on the absurdity of your good book try reading it! and not just the parts your preacher tells you to read.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ronnie Lee

    Mark, you will be in my prayers. Atheists have more faith than Christians. They dig and order to disprove the existence of our God. That takes some try and tell oneself we are the result of molecular sludge and preach against our devine creator.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ctlfreak

      @Ronnie atheists believe in logic and facts, not crazy ramblings from people worshiping a being they invented. If any REAL evidence of a deity were to be discovered, every single agnostic and atheist would change their tone immediately.

      Oh and save your breath for cooling your pies, don't waste it praying for me or Mark. We can handle ourselves.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Yelka

      @Ronnie ctlfreak said it so well. Oh, and as for scientific evidence on the effectiveness of prayer, I'm glad that your voodoo only affects you.

      The sad thing is that delusional people can do real harm to others.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. clearmind

    A marriage license was issued so that blacks and whites could not marry, or at least could be kept in check. (government) No license was issued so the marriage was illegal etc. two becoming one, that is all God, nobody can do anything about that. what God has joined let no man put asunder. Now my marriage at one time was frowned upon by the government but blessed by God.The government making one law or another does not make a marriage.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ctlfreak

      I assume you are in a mixed relationship, and good for you for not caring what people thought at the time. The irony is, god doesn't condone your marriage.
      Genesis 28:1: "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan."
      Leviticus 19:19: "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind
      Numbers 25:6-11 "One of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman.... And Phinehas took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So, the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
      Joshua 23:12-13 "Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you."
      Psalms 106:34-42 "They did not destroy the nations concerning whom the Lord commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works ... and went a whoring with their own inventions, ... And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand."

      These are your god's words, not mine. I personally think anyone should be allowed to marry anyone. But your YHWY thinks differently

      September 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Ctrlfreak, read the new testament much? When people argue bible verses, I hope they have actually read it. Front to back. Anyone debating over a source should read the whole source.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      I Lohr ist iae "Christian" bible thumpers, they know it all front and back, EXCEPT the Chapter on Matthew, that has been removed from every Republican Bible in America, I think a mandate from Dick Cheney, I could be wrong. Hypocrits in the grandest way. But they believe they are "Saved" while they horde their riches and build their Kingdoms on Earth.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wheredoesitstop

    Ped a files pay taxes and are a minority. Same goes for ppl that enjoy sleeping with animals. Why again? do we feel the need to redefine marriage? Why do we have to get all this poked down OUR necks, but get accused of poking OUR beliefs down yours. How many of you will still be flappin your yaps when the Peddies want the rights to marry their underaged "loves of their lives" and Bubba Billy Bob just HAS to have the right to walk dowo the aisle with his mule? Keep it simple. Marriage= 1 man 1 woman. If gay people want all the fringe benefits, that's fine. But redefining marriage can open a bigger can of legal worms I doubt too many ppl are ready for.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley


      September 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • midwestrail

      Absolute delusional hogwash. Get back to me when either a mule or a child can legally enter such an arrangement. In the meantime, feel free to find another straw man argument.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      If you know history, children have married off at very young ages,and even today in countries can marry at 12...

      September 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nicky

    Since everybody is talkin so much about religion maybe yall should check out the part where for any sin that you do if you ask for forgiveness god will forgive you for your sin. Being gay is a sin but god loves everybody and will forgive you for your sin. Gay pride! Its the 21st century ppl grow up and live life!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Yelka

      Believing in sin is a "cop out"... Giving up the responsibility you have to deal ethically with all people. Don't like interracial marriage? Say: it's a sin. Don't like women to sit next to men in temple? Say: it's a sin.

      Don't like something? Have no fear! Just say: it's a sin.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ clearmind, let me make it perfectly CLEAR to you, and you alone! I am the VERY PROUD relative of a half black male in my family, I am not ready yet to reveal something, gosh I still feel like it's the early 70's and I'm scared to disclose anything, but this is strickly about what the bible says and has nothing to do with the facts of what Gods word is.

    what the black race has gone thru is STRICKLY caused by the WHITE MAN

    Please let me know you got this and you understand what I'm saying
    all my best

    September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ clearmind
    I just read your post, my comment was made at just the sight of your name and not wanting you to take what I said the wrong way.

    And yes I am in complete agreement , MARRIAGE being validated under GOD not MAN AND HIS LAWS

    September 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pastor T. Bernadino

      The great and almighty GOD above doesn't want interbreeding amongst the races. Jeremiah 13:23 (King James Version):

      "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."

      September 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      Pastor I pray for false prophets almost as much as pedophiles. It seems the way you interpret the bible and the understanding you get is completely different from most. from your scripture here and below I see reference of not mixing creeds, and i know of scriptures that teach nto to mix feligions and it is not right. Although I have yet to see a word against skin colors not mixing. And what about Moses who married an ethiopian woman and God never challeneged it?

      September 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      *to not mix religions.... just to be clear I do believe mixing creeds/religions are wrong

      September 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ronnie Lee

    Wow ctrlfreek, you either can type really fast or google even faster. I would bet the latter. If you read The Word instead of copy and paste, maybe you will understand what God can have in store for you.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Yelka

      We all would understand god if it actually existed and visited us in public. But, alas, no god visits happened anytime in my lifetime. God is your puppet. People look at the puppet and think it's real. Sometimes children think puppets are real.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter G

    No one is voting about whether a church will be required to marry a couple they don't support. We are talking about civil marriage, not religious marriage. It's time people stop mixing up the two. History is not on the side of those voting in support of this amendment. Future generations will look at the dialogue the same way we look at discussions of inter-racial marriage.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ashley

      when will people stop trying to compare race to sin? Religious matrimony which is what originated marriage belongs in the church. For the legality rights and needs of the gy community, they should find a new way than trying to mock marriage– We have a hard enough time with mockery of marriage already without adding another problem... And history and majority shows NC will vote this ban on gay marriage... I assure you that

      September 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • midwestrail

      You can assure us all you want – I assure you the State of North Carolina will need to get very well acquainted with federal court if this nonsense passes.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tania

    My NC Christians, thank you for the enlightenment on my wicked lesbian ways. Will any of you good Christians offer your son up to me to marry? I will immediately leave my partner of 12 years, marry your son, live a complete lie, yet save my wicked soul. Makes perfect sense!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ Pastor T.

    Tell me where in that statement is GOd saying that White and Black people should not marry?

    You are a disgrace to say the least !

    And I would have said worse, but then I would be NO better!

    You evil man

    September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pastor T. Bernadino

      Son, if you are supporting this type of hearacy then you are the evil man! Scripture don't lie boy!

      Genesis 28:1: "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan."

      If you read your Bible you would know that in Genesis 28:1: "And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan." Racial mixing if frowned apoun. It is repeated again in Deuteronomy 7:1-6 where the good word tells the Israelites to destroy all the inhabitants of the Canaan land and not to intermarry with them–because they would "turn your sons away from following Me, that they may serve other gods." The same key concern of 2 Corinthians 6:14 is again expressed here as well. You see the Bible has and will always have all the answers you will ever need.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      "Pastor" a name that almost ALWAYS is before the Man who is drunk on the Bible, he is so drunk on it he Thinks He can NOW JUDGE humanity, while he supports corruption in the Republican Party because they toss him a few bones for his words from the Pulpit or online. May God deal with you in His Devine ways Pastor for your Ego driven maddness.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      @Pastor These verses have absolutely nothing to do with race. They have to do with the Canaans being idol worshipers and pagans. Looks like you need to do a little more research.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nicky

    I thought we were suppose to be free but really we are still being controled by being told who we can and cant marry. If a woman falls in love wit a woman why shouldnt they be able to get married? If a man falls in love with a man why shouldnt they be able to get married? A man and a woman can. Have ppl ever been equal?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ Pastor T. a
    @ Clearmind

    See that's exactly what I'm saying... Straight back to the early 70' FEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. clearmind

    @jazzzzzzz No worries! you encouraged me (along with others) during very hard time, you are my sister. whatever you have to say is always good with me. I might disagree but that` ok.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      (tearing up)
      I wish with all that is in me, I could bring your wife back! SMH

      September 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
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